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  1. panic

    panic New Member

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    Kindly provideth thou aid, old timey english

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by panic, Feb 10, 2019.

    I'm looking for a specific bible-sounding English like the Mouth of Sauron uses.

    I have some tokens that I was bidden to show to thee - to thee in especial, if thou shouldst dare to come
    .

    Pretty much all the'ancient' NPC's in the Dark Souls game series and the item descriptions use the same type of English, even more ancient-sounding.

    Thou must returneth whence thou came.


    Does anyone here know of a source or even a period in time when this was used? The things i find is always for medieval english which seems to be an entirely different language and i don't want to fake it since i need to use it a little too often. Thanks
     
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Are these your examples that you wish to write or are these examples from other sources? Either way, they are erroneous.

    I have some tokens that I was bid to show thee - thee in particular, shouldst thou dare come.

    Thou must return whence thou came.


    These are examples of mildly archaic Modern English, barely changed from the manner in which we speak today, circa 18th century. Medieval English (Middle English) would be a language that's markedly different from what we speak today.

    In the first example, the preposition to is typically dropped when the subsequent pronoun is properly declined into the dative case, what you think of as the indirect object, and the word if as a flag for the subjunctive mood is a thoroughly modern invention and would not have been used with the rest of these archaisms.

    In the second example, you have two verbs conjugated, one after the other, which was as incorrect then as it is today, the first one agreeing with the imperative for second person thou, and the second agreeing with an archaic form for the third person he, she, it which is nowhere evident herein.
     
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  3. Storysmith

    Storysmith Member

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    Since you say bible-sounding, you're probably looking at the King James Bible (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_James_Version), easily the most famous English language bible and from the early 1600s, i.e. the early modern period. It's modern enough to be readable, but archaic enough to clearly be different to the English that we speak today.

    You could read that book for inspiration, or from only slightly earlier you could also check out Shakespeare's works.
     
  4. panic

    panic New Member

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    The first example is from Tolkiens Lord of the Rings, second is from an English translation of Dark Souls which has the most interesting lore in video game history. I won't lie, your knowledge of English is vastly superior to mine and i had to do research before i could understand what you said here. My self-confidence in writing in English is now at an all-time low.

    I'll have a look at that king James bible and early 18th century witch hunt documents for inspiration.
     
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  5. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    Hey chill, your examples are interesting. Keep talking about it.
     
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  6. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    I have some tokens that I was bidden to show to thee - to thee in especial, if thou shouldst dare to come.

    - that works - say if you were up on stage - with an audience - with lots of facial expression and switch of pace in the delivery. But as @Wreybies says historically it is less than accurate, not so rigorous.

    Thou must returneth whence thou came.

    Same applies here, s'pose.
    ...

    I were, heh, a tad confused by:
    I think it is the 'if you should dare to visit,' but it might be the 'you must return where you came from.' I can't quite work it out.
     
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  7. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    We can make it a little easier to understand if we return to modern conjugations.

    Let's change thou to she and run with that to address the issue with the two verbs conjugated back to back:

    She must return whence she came.

    She must returns whence she came.


    She returns whence she came.

    Must is already conjugated for the imperative (command) mood, which is fine and correct. Return should not be conjugated, remaining in the infinitive; else, it would be returns, but when paired with must (must returns) is clearly broken.

    She returns...

    She must return...

    She must returns...

    Thou returnest...


    Thou must return...


    Thou must returneth...
    ❌ ❌

    I give the last one two red ❌'s because a) the second verb should not be conjugated at all, and b) even if we were to conjugate it (which we should not in this case) the correct conjugation that would go with 2nd person thou would be returnest, not returneth. Returneth is correct for the archaic 3rd person he, she, or it, not thou.

    But the -eth ending is the archaic ending people tend to know, and it often gets incorrectly slapped anywhere someone wishes to add a dash of that old-timie tone, so I'm not at all surprised that whoever translated that video game used it, but, well, as above....
     
  8. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    I have no problem with such a conjugalation.

    Remember how we are interpreting the medieval period for the pentameters of modern audience, please see movie examples 'Bill & Big Ted's Excellent Adventure' and contemporary failure 'Mary Queen of Scotland.' Also the child is crying.
     
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  9. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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    Conjugalation. I love it. Can I steal it?
     
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  10. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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    whence.png
    Isn't it return FROM whence she came? That's what I think I would have used, if I was writing this conjugulation. :) Or even 'to whence she came.' But this whole thing is deuced awkward because the sentence doesn't indicate what the place was that she'd come from.

    It's as if we said: She must return where she came. The 'from' needs to be in there someplace, I reckon. Or is it implied in 'whence?' I don't know. The phrase sounds awkward no matter what. I think we're missing something.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  11. Nariac

    Nariac Senior Member

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    I always thought that whence meant "from where" and therefore using "from whence" was incorrect.
     
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  12. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You are correct, and whenever I make use of these words, I am staunchly opposed to the inclusion of interloping prepositions, but there is a transitional period between these older forms and their modern counterparts. See below. ;)

    No, from whence is redundant, but we know that the slide from whence to from whence, and eventually on to the modern from where was already in motion even by Shakespeare's day. He uses both whence and from whence depending on which fit the meter better. From whence is certainly found, but it points to the transitional period when these words started to fade in favor of their modern forms. Whence is one of the goal-of-motion words that are nearly dead in the modern day, which is why they feel like they are missing something. It requires no other prepositional aid and is the counterpart to where.

    A wee bit of silliness I wrote ages and ages ago with the intent of using all the goal of motion words. ;)

    Hither, Thither, and Yon

    This morrow at the break of dawn
    I saw my neighbor walking yon.
    With haste, he trod upon the road.
    He seemed quite vexed and kicked a toad.

    Then hither came the man to me
    and asked me for a pot to pee.
    "Thither take thee to the shed,"
    I answered as I shook my head.

    A gracious man, I try to be,
    but lending out my pot to pee?
    That is where I draw the line.
    Ablute thou in thine, please not in mine.

    My neighbor did commence to dance,
    and like the Devil, he did prance.
    A lurid line of words most foul
    did paint his face into a scowl.

    T'was thus that I did come to see,
    good sense had set my neighbor free.
    He was possessed of something odd;
    hence, to the left his head did nod.

    Then off he went on his strange way
    without a word to bid good-day.
    My eye pursued as he went thence,
    and made love to a barbed-wire fence.

    The moral of this tale most queer,
    if in the tell was not made clear,
    have a care past your front door.
    The world is filled of strange galore.
     
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  13. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Evangelizing Athorist Contributor

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    @Wreybies, one of the big towers marching across the oscilloscope in these topics.

    :)
     
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  14. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, that's great! Love it.

    I think you're right about the 'whence' ...although I did look it up, and both the Oxford and the Webster's did condone using 'from whence,' although they didn't necessarily recommend it. It think the problem is what you pinpointed. 'Whence' is out of date enough to be difficult to use when attached to a more modern sentence formation. (It can also mean 'what' and 'which' as well as 'where,' apparently. Yowg.)
     
  15. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    My mentor at DLI, Mr. Yakhno (Г-н Яхно) was an intimidatingly brilliant, but very kindly man of the astonishingly old, thin, and frail variety, and it was he who used Shakespear to help me understand the goal-of-motion words in Russian, where, unlike English, these words are still spry and in everyday use. He was the kind of man who left you wondering who had he been back in the old USSR and why was he so paradoxically here in this military school. Seriously, just a brilliant man.
     
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  16. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Evangelizing Athorist Contributor

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    I'm just shamed by the fact that I'm the guy who's been teaching this shit for going on twenty years and you're the one I'm going to hit up for help some day.

    Russian was only a CAT 3, dammit!
     
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  17. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Be not ashamed, for though I am come* with a plethora of knowledge, most of it is of little use. :-D

    * That’s the archaic perfect tense for intransitive verbs. Intransitives once used “to be” to form their perfect tense (as modern German still does), and “to have” for transitive verbs. At some point after Elizabethan times, it simplified to both kinds of verbs using “to have” as their perfect tense.

    Thus, Queen Elizabeth would have said:

    I am come to bid you good-day, my lords.

    but she would have also said….

    We have ousted the rebels and consign them to the tower. They are the authors of their own fates.
    Again, not exactly information worthy of mention in my C.V.. ;)
     
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  18. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Band name :D "Next up ladies and gentlemen little wrey wrey and the interloping propositions - take it away wrey"
     
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  19. panic

    panic New Member

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    Well for those that want to know, the full dialogue is:

    Thou must returneth whence thou came.
    This land is peaceful, its inhabitants kind, but thou dost not belong.

    The context is, a painting is hanging in a huge cathedral in the city of the gods. You end up in the painting, turns out it houses a painted world. On top of a tower is the 'governess' of the world, living there in exile. She's a dragon-god crossbreed experiment or something like that and all the creatures in her world are exiles feared by the gods that exiled them. She urges you to leave her world in peace, you have the choice to do that or not. This all might sound silly but i really urge everyone, especially non-videogame people to look into Dark Souls lore, it's by far the most interesting and unique imaginary world that's ever been created IMO and you're missing out by not knowing about it.

    This is really interesting. We do that in dutch too, 'to have' for most verbs and 'to be' for some exceptions. I never noticed English used 'to have' only. Really your 'little use' knowledge is invaluable, these are things curious people want to know, but that don't get taught.

    I don't want to derail my own thread but do you happen to know why English uses verbs like 'to do' and 'to be' for questions? For example 'are you coming?' or 'do you know?' This has always been a mystery to me since we (flemish-dutch) would say (literally translated) 'come you?' and 'know you?'
     
  20. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yes and no. I know the grammatical phenomenon. It's called "do-support" and is a thing that gives many people learning English quite the headache because it's a rarity in Indo-European languages.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do-support

    Why it came into being...I'm not exactly sure, but I know the forms it replaced, and it is part of a known trend in Modern English to move away from forms where the verb heads or is primary in the sentence, though in this case, it doesn't seem like it because do is itself a verb, though in this use it's serving as a kind of marker for affirmative/negative denotation.

    Do you know these words? (modern)

    Knowest thou these words? (archaic)

    I do know these words - I do not know these words. (modern)

    I know these words - I know not these words. (archaic)

    The subjunctive underwent a similar transposition of form and execution.

    If you was to go, would you take me? (eye-twichingly idiomatic and modern, though... yuck!)

    If you were to go, would you take me? (standard modern)

    Were you to go, would you take me? (on the verge of archaic, I still use this form)

    Would that you were to go, would you take me? (Tolkienesque stuffy aristocrat)
     
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  21. jannert

    jannert Member Supporter Contributor

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    I knew there was a reason I don't write medieval historical fiction.
     
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  22. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    Nothing grates on my more than "Olde English" being mangled. If your sources aren't either circa 1600 or Tolkien (who knew his stuff), they're immediately suspect.

    It ruins Star Trek when I hear a Vulcan say something like "Thee must go," showing that the scriptwriter either didn't know, or didn't care about, the distinction between "Thee" and "Thou" (or "You").

    And don't get me started on "thy" and "thine." It's so simple, really. You use "thy" where you'd use "a" and "thine" where you'd use "an":

    A sword = thy sword or my sword
    An apple = thine apple or mine apple

    I must retire now, until my blood pressure recedes.
     
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  23. Friederich Kugelschreiber

    Friederich Kugelschreiber Senior Member

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    The Geneva Bible would also be a great resource for this sort of language. I prefer it to the KJV as far as archaic language is concerned.
     
  24. Friederich Kugelschreiber

    Friederich Kugelschreiber Senior Member

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    Of Plymouth Plantation was the worst book I was ever forced to read, but it might help you out somewhat.
     
  25. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Evangelizing Athorist Contributor

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    Welcome back!
     

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